When you use Google (or any other search engine) to search for a term, have you ever wondered how the websites in the first search results page got there, when there are probably thousands of other competing websites which match your search term? Well, the answer to that question is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Those first few websites had better SEO than their competitors. So, what is SEO? Simply, it is a marketing strategy used to increase the ranking of a website in search engines.
Some of those websites (such as Wikipedia, Facebook and Microsoft) got to the first search results page without much help from SEO because, their brand names are sufficiently famous to get them listed in the first page. The other websites rely on SEO to get them to the first or second search results page. You may wonder why SEO is so important. Well, users rarely go beyond the first few search result pages when searching for a term. When was the last time you clicked on the fifteenth search results page?
SEO can be done in many ways. The main (and effective) SEO methods are the following:
1) SEO titles, headers and URL addresses
3) Writing SEO content
4) The use of multimedia
5) Regular updates
This article will briefly touch on each of these SEO techniques. Each of these techniques will be described in detail in subsequent articles.
SEO titles, headers and URL addresses
The title of a webpage is different from its heading. The title is displayed on the ‘tab’ of that webpage while the heading is displayed in the webpage itself. When you enter a search term (known as the keyword), the search engine tries to find websites whose title, heading and URL address matches the given keyword. If the title, heading or the URL address of a website matches your keyword, then that website is given a higher ranking than others. For example, if the keyword you entered is “phoenix”, a website having the URL address: “http://www.phoenix.com” is given a higher ranking than a website having the URL address: “http://www.mystical_birds.com”.
When you visit a website, you will usually see several hyperlinks linking that website to other websites. These links are known as back-links. Wikipedia is a good example for back-links. All the reference websites are listed at the bottom of a Wikipedia article. These hyperlinks (at the bottom of an article) are back-links of the respective reference websites. Back-links help to increase the ranking of a website. Generally, the more back-links a website has, the higher its ranking.
Writing SEO content
Search engines try to match the entered keyword with the content of websites. For example, if your keyword is “golf player”, the search engine will search for articles having the term “golf player”. However, there will be millions of articles having the term “golf player” in them. The search engine will rank these articles according to the “keyword density” of the articles. Keyword density is calculated by dividing the number of keywords in the article by the total number of words and then multiplying the result by 100.
For example, if a hundred-worded article has the keyword “golf player” repeated twice in it, the article has a keyword density of 2%. Articles having a keyword density of 0.5-2% are generally given the highest ranking.
The use of multimedia
Everybody prefers graphical websites, compared to plain-text websites. The major search engines know this and therefore; they give websites containing multimedia (graphics, videos and flash applications) a higher ranking than other websites.
People have an unquenchable thirst for new information and facts. The major search engines address this need by giving the websites which are regularly updated a higher ranking than other websites.
We hope that we answered your question “What is SEO?” satisfactorily through this article.